Guild Chris Hillman Signature Byrds Bass - Summer NAMM 2015

Guild Guitars celebrates the Byrds' 50th Anniversary with the release of the new Chris Hilman Signature Byrds Bass.

Chris Hillman Signature Byrds Bass

It is based on the original Guild Starfire Bass that Hillman used on many of the Byrd's recordings that went on to be a breakthrough success in the mid '60s.

To create this new signature instrument, Guild faithfully reproduced the details of Chris Hillman's original Guild Starfire Bass, as heard on popular recordings like “Turn, Turn, Turn,” “Eight Miles High”, and “The Times They Are A-Changing”.

The project to build this signature bass was started by Chris Middaugh, a former associate at Guild. It was then developed into the new Chris Hillman Signature Byrds Bass with the involvement of two key players in Hillman’s circle. First of which is John Jorgenson, a former bandmate and frequent collaborator of Chris, he played an important part in the engineering and refinement of the instrument's custom tone circuit. The other key player is Tracy Longo,a longtime luthier to Hilman.

Like the original, the new Byrds Bass features a semi-hollow all-maple body with Guild's distinct double cutaway design. The body is paired with a three-piece mahogany neck strengthened to handle the extra stress added by bass strings, and topped by a rosewood fingerboard. To give this instrument the tone that artists approve of, Guild equipped it with a single BS-1 BiSonic pickup.

Hillman said that the original Starfire was his go-to bass for much of the mid-1960s, mostly due to its "ease of playing". During a recent visit to Guild's new California headquarters, Chris adds,"I didn’t think you needed two pickups for what I did, [and] I never thought you needed more than four strings.”

An important part of Hillman's tone is the use of flatwound strings, which gives out a mellow and smooth tone that was widely used back in the '60s. So Guild ensured that the modern Starfire design is tweaked to better accommodate the artist's string type preference.

Other features include a vintage sunburst finish as seen on the original, the Byrds' logo inlaid in the 12th fret and Chris Hillman's signature on the truss rod cover. It comes bundled with a hardshell case and a numbered certificate of authenticity that is personally signed by the artist.

The Guild Chris Hillman Signature Byrds Bass has a list price of $1,950, for more information and other details, visit Guild Guitars, or check out their Summer NAMM 2015 booth (#910).

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